• Hi Guest - Welcome to the New BCF!! Welcome to the new (as of 2/22/21) British Car Forum. For help navigating this platform, see: This forum

Scariest "almost crash"


Jedi Warrior
What was the scareiest close call you've had?

I remember in early 80's I was on a job Surveying for a hydro project upstate NY. We all drove big 3/4 ton Suburbans. Anyway I was going to grab a bite at the diner about 10 miles form the hotel. It was dark & I was doing 50-55 down a 2 lane undivided. I reached for the radio & accidentally hits the auto shift on the tree. It dropped into neutral & the engine really reved. I heard a loud bang, got it back into gear & cheaked the gauges, Oil, temp, alt ok, so continued on. Well I go to pull off into the Diner from 45-50 & make a sweeping turn into the parking lot full of trucks & cars; hit the brakes & the pedal goes to the floor! I had about 300 ft to work with, swerved through the lot, hit the parking (emergency!) brake & dump it in park, only to stop 5' from the front window of the diner! You should have seen the look on the customers faces. I almost sh%%t my pants!

Turns out the loud bang? was the flex fan snapped a blade off & cut both (all) the brake lines that were running along the chassis rail next to the radiator.

Holy cow!


Staff member
Around 1974 I was home on leave in Denver (from my base in Great Falls Montana). I was a young airman and while in Denver I decided to buy my first new car. It was a metallic mint green 74 Mercury Capri (the German v6 version). Well, as I was headed back to my base I was going down through a mountain canyon, I think in Utah, and as I was going downhill fir a long time, I decided to save some gas and just coast. So I turned the key off. About 1/8 mile further, the road started to curve to the left, but as I started to turn with the road, my steering wheel locked!! Yikes! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif I had never had a car that had a locking steering wheel before and it never even occurred to me when I shut my key off to "save gas" that my steering wheel would lock. Well, I managed to stop about 1/4 inch from the guard rail. On the other side of the guard rail was a drop of several hundred feet! Needless to say, that was the last time I ever tried that stunt!



Luke Skywalker
Knock on wood, I've never actually crashed (except into cones during autocross.)

BUT...I've had tons of (as they would say at LAX airport) "near misses."

About two weeks after I got my license, I was driving to school on the freeway (I went to a private school about 12 miles away from my house -- all freeway 520bridge and I5 in Seattle.) It was obviously rush hour, and the traffic all of a sudden just stopped. I slammed on the brakes of the '77 Buick Lesabre my brother and I shared (he was riding shotgun.) Tires screeching, I finally stopped about 2 feet from the car in front of me -- a Washington State Highway Patrolman! Welcome to driving!!!!

A year later I was driving home from a formal dance at about 2 in the morning...it was in a downpour. Again on HWY520 bridge (the longest floating bridge in the world,) I hit a huge water hazzard in my dad's '86 Dodge 600ES convertible. I went completely sideways --taking up both lanes (it's a 4 lane bridge.) I thought I was going to die, and then my front wheels hit pavement and launched me straight...right back into the lane I was in! I've since hydroplaned in the same place twice over the years.

Finally, the next year I drove to school in the Dodge because my then '77 Lebaron (which replaced the Buick, which had died) was stuck at the bottom of my parents driveway. Right in front of the school, I hit a patch of ice and started sliding towards a row of parked cars. For some reason, it dawned on me that the car is front wheel drive, so instead of jamming on the non-abs brakes, I cranked the wheel and floored it. I hit a patch of traction and the car pulled away, with what I would guess as about 6 inches to spare from hitting a parked car.

The same year (my senior year,) after dropping a friend off after school in the rain, I took the sweeping corner near his house too fast in my '77 Lebaron. I hit some grease, oil, water or something and started drifting sideways. Off the road I went, onto the grass and about 4 feet from going over an embankment. Didn't much like driving that car after that incident!

I'm certain there are others, but these are the ones that stick out.


Jedi Hopeful
Two episodes come to mind.

The first was as a student in my old Hillman Hunter. I was on my way to college on a wet morning. I crested a hill to discover the cars in front stopping for some kids on a crossing.

I had plenty of time to stop and gently applied the brakes. To my horror the brakes locked and the car started to slide. I came off and had another go. Same thing happened. (Lesson learned - even if you're on a student budget, don't buy cheap tyres!!)

I checkeded the other lane in my direction of travel, but it was full of cars. There were no cars coming in the other direction, but if I steered into that lane I was going to mow down the kids on the crossing. So I just started winding on lock. I shot across the lane for oncoming traffic and landed on the footpath. I was headed for a fence with a bit of a drop behind. I stood on the brakes and prayed. The Hunter stopped just in time. No damage at all other than the wheel alignment was probably messed up.

The other one was in the same car, but wasn't really a near crash. It suddenly started making a sizzling sound. Expecting a fire I pulled over and leapt out.

I had only just exited the car when a heater hose ruptured and sprayed scalding water all over where my legs had been a moment earlier. Ouch!!


Jedi Hopeful
There is one very close call that I will never forget.

I was in a 82 Toyota Supra on my way to make a bank deposit for my parents company and it had to go in before 2 o'clock. I was in Memphis on Sam Cooper Blvd and was hauling at above 100mph in the fast lane and almost passed the Perkins Rd. exit. I crossed over the three lanes and as soon as I got in the right lane, I was at exit ramp. Not only did I almost miss the exit but I also forgot what the ramp was like. The ramp is very short with a hard curve!

As I got to the ramp, I quickly glanced at the speedo that was still above 95mph but was already committed to it. I pushed in the clutch and got on the brakes very hard. I started streering into the curve and the rear end broke loose. Mid way of the curve, I ran out of steering angle and was in an opposite lock drift at probably 70mph and then just as soon as I was preparing swap ends and flip many times, the curve straightened and I started bringing the steering wheel back out of the slide. I came to a stop at the end of the ramp and just sat there for a few minutes with my knees like jelly until a car behind me started honking at me.

I give tons of credit to that Supra for saving my life. There's a lot to be said for a long wheelbase car with fully independent suspension and 4 wheel disc brakes.


Jedi Hopeful
I just remembered one other close call.

I was in an 89 Conquest TSi in 5 o'clock, bumper to bumper traffic heading out of Nashville on I24 towards Murfreesboro. This was back in 1995 when 4 lanes used to merge into 2 lanes just past Hickory Hollow Mall. I was in the left lane on the 2 lane portion and the traffic speed was doing the "inch worm" thing from 0mph to 60mph and back to 0mph. we had sped up and slowed down maybe 5 times and the guy in a truck behind me would come right up on my bumper and slam his brakes. We start to speed up again to 60mp and I'm watchin the guy behind me hoping to not get rear ended and as usual he was really close to me but as I looked back ahead, the cars were almost to a stop. In a split second I realize I won't be able to stop so I jerk the car to the left and into the emergency lane. Just as I swerve and pass the car I was about to hit, I hear the tailgating moron behind me slam into the car that I almost hit!


Senior Member
I was driving my '96 Impala SS last week and I was on the freeway. There was an accident involving 5 cars right in front of me, and there was almost nothing I could do to avoid the other cars. So, I slammed on my brakes and yanked the steering wheel. Well, obviously, I spun out, but I spun out just right. I went in between two of the cars involved in the accident, they were still moving. I had less than a foot clearance on each side of my car. My car finally came to a stop (without any further problems) and was facing the wrong way on the freeway, towards the accident, and saw that the two cars I went inbetween had hit each other, so I was extremely lucky that I wasn't hit by either one. I sat there shocked until I was brought back to reality when a cop knocked on my window. That was the scariest moment of my life.

Bruce Bowker

Obi Wan
What's the minimal driving age in CA.?


Senior Member
I was with my mom. I only have a permit, but I do have my own car, my boss gave it to me. I am a used car salesman and when I got my permit, my boss gave me the best car on the lot, we get along really well, after all, he gave me a car he was going to sell for $16,000. Oh, and the minimum driving age is 15 1/2. At 16 I get my license and can drive alone.


Never thought it posible to get an MGB sideways but once a car pulled onto the highway directly in my path while I was doing 75+ MPH. The driver saw me and panic stopped in the middle of my lane. With a very short distance to disaster, I hit the brakes and tried to veer around him. The car hit a dip in the road at that very moment and the rear swung out. Now travelling sideways with tires screeching, I knew there was no way I would avoid hitting him unless something drastic was done.

I hit the gas hard and steered towards the offending car which swung the rear hard the other way. The rear of the car now cleared him but the front was still on a collision course, so a controlled blip on the throttle with another counter-steer corrected the car, gave traction and control back and I steered around him with inches to spare.

My passenger needed at least ten minutes to calm down!


Jedi Knight
Two of the same misses in my old 67 Chevy PU.

First the brake line went due to age. I should have been checking them. One second I had brakes, the next I didn't. Thankfully, I was pulling an empty parking lot at the time and had plenty of time to use the Parking brake to stop the beast.

I had to leave for a trip the next week, so I put it into a shop I trusted at the time and jetted. What I didn't know was that he put in lines that were a bit too long. Each time I took a turn, it would rub a little more off of the rubber against the inside of my wheels. After about six months, I am pulling up to a T intersection from the bottom side, when the line gives way again. No room this time. I yank the wheel to the right (manual steering) and try to hold it there while I reach down to the left for the Parking brake lever. I was pretty sure I was dead. But I got the brake pulled in time and slid sideways to the edge of the road in front of me.

This time I did my own brakelines and they were steel braid.


Jedi Trainee
1985, Ft. Polk, LA Riding in the hatch of an M113A1 Armored Personell Carrier. They had 2 "laterals" and you pull the left one to turn left and the right one to turn right. The right lateral failed and the road turned to the right. At about 40 mph we went off road, over ditches and RR tracks for a hundred yards or so - very, very scary expecting to roll over at each bump we hit.